ALEXANDRE MOUTON was born in Attakapas County, (Lafayette Parish today), Louisiana on November 19, 1804. His education was attained at Georgetown College in Washington, D.C. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1825, and established a legal practice in Lafayette Parish. Mouton entered politics in 1826, serving as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, a position he held until 1832. He served as speaker of the house from 1831 to 1832, and was a Democratic presidential elector in 1828, 1832, and 1836. He also was reelected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1836, and served as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1837 to 1842. Mouton was elected governor by a popular vote on August 4, 1842. After being confirmed by the legislature, he was sworn into office on January 30, 1843. During his tenure, overhead expenditures were cut, state property and assets were sold, the state deficit was reduced, and the budget was balanced. A new state constitution was approved in 1845, instituting election of governors by popular vote, thus eliminating the legislative confirmation process. Also established were the newly formed offices of lieutenant governor, state superintendent of education, and state librarian; judicial authority was granted to the supreme and district courts; and a public school system was instituted that included the development of the University of Louisiana (Tulane University today). Due to the constitutional changes in the terms of state offices, Mouton left office on February 12, 1846. In 1852, he served as president of the Southwestern Railroad Convention, was a delegate to the 1860 Democratic National Convention, and served as chairman of the 1861 Louisiana Secession Convention. Governor Alexandre Mouton died on February 12, 1885, and was buried at the St. John’s Cemetery in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Dawson III, Joseph G. The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1990.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.